US 5-week job losses surpass Kenya’s entire labour force


US 5-week job losses surpass Kenya’s entire labour force

In Summary

  • According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, unemployment insurance claims since mid-March reached a count of 26.5 million individuals this week to surpass all jobs added since the end of the great recession in 2009.
  • Kenya’s highest unemployment rate on record was registered in the aftermath of the 2008-2009 global financial crisis when it hit 12.2 percent in 2010.
  • Youth aged 20 to 24 years are the hardest hit by unemployment accounting for the cohort with both the highest rate of unemployment and the lowest labour utilisation rate.

Jobs lost in the United States across the last five weeks now surpass Kenya’s entire labour force including the unemployed, painting a grim picture on the unemployment outlook.

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, unemployment insurance claims since mid-March reached a count of 26.5 million individuals this week to surpass all jobs added since the end of the great recession in 2009.

22.4 million new jobs had been added to payrolls since the financial crisis while only 8.7 million jobs had been lost cumulatively during the period.

The data from the US puts into focus the looming unemployment crisis across the world owing to disruptions brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.

From partial unsettling of economic activity to complete shutdowns in some countries, the outlook on jobs creation has taken a turn for the worse with the majority of the world economies now expected to fall into recession this year.

According to recent projections by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the global economy is expected to contract by as much as eight percent in a worst case scenario due to the pandemic which has put brakes on globalisation and international trend.

Domestically, the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) now publishes labour reports on a quarterly basis and expected to publish employment data for the first quarter of the year in May.

Job trends across the board are however similar in a time of crisis.

For instance, Kenya’s highest unemployment rate on record was registered in the aftermath of the 2008-2009 global financial crisis when it hit 12.2 percent in 2010.

Presently, the country’s unemployment rate as of the end of 2019 sits at 6.5 percent according to the latest KNBS quarterly report, a worse off count than the 6.2 percent record in the first quarter of last year.

Kenya’s entire labour force is estimated at 19 million persons, with the employed accounting for an 18.1 million share, while the unemployed total a sum of 929,595.

Labour force participation is tabulated at 70.2 percent while those not engaged economically account for 8.1 million persons.

The country’s working population or persons aged between 15 and 64 stands at 27.1 million.

Youth aged 20 to 24 years are the hardest hit by unemployment accounting for the cohort with both the highest rate of unemployment and the lowest labour utilisation rate.

Jobs lost in the US have already surpassed the International Labour Organisation (ILO) early impact assessment of the pandemic estimated losses of 25 million jobs across the globe.

Fears on jobs have further been accelerated by risks of the global economy falling into a depression.

A depression is described as a severe prolonged economic downturn in economic activity which leads in losses of output of more than 10 percent.

The last great depression lasted through the 1930s and saw unemployment in the US hit a 25 percent record as both retail stores and factories closed in the aftermath of the 1929 stock market crash.

For Citizen TV updates
Join @citizentvke Telegram channel



Video Of The Day: | BULLDOZERS FOR SANITIZERS | Families remain in the cold after evictions from Kariobangi sewage estate

Avatar
Story By Kepha Muiruri
More by this author